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Russia economic funk ripples out through ex-Soviet states
08/20/2014  |  11:18
By Sujata Rao and Dmitry SolovyovLONDON/ALMATY Aug 20 (Reuters) - Farangees Islomova is worried. Her husband, who labours on a construction site in Moscow's Schelkovo suburb, usually sends 15,000 roubles home to Tajikistan every month....

CORRECTED-UPDATE 3-Mining giant Glencore makes good on pledge with $1 bln buyback
08/20/2014  |  13:14
(Corrects figure to $6.5 billion in paragraph 15)* First of big miners to return cash to shareholders* Analyst praises "sensible" buyback plan* EBITDA up 8 pct to $6....

SAFT ON WEALTH-Buffett hoards cash, individuals' holdings hit 14-year low
08/20/2014  |  20:44
(James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own)By James SaftAug 20 (Reuters) - Individual investors have been cutting back on cash in portfolios, the exact reverse of what Warren Buffett has been doing at Berkshire Hathaway....

Thai IPOs poised for post-coup rally
08/20/2014  |  10:50
* More than 30 companies and trusts in line to list on Thai bourse* Big IPOs will reveal foreign investor appetite for Thai riskBy Viparat JantraprapBANGKOK, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Thailand's stock market has experienced a wave of initial public offerings (IPOs) since the military took over the country three months ago, with companies relieved that the political deadlock has ended.The environment has become far more conducive for firms to raise funds as prospects for the economy are brightening, with growth tipped at 5....

RPT-INSIGHT-Japan's polarising PM Abe learns the long game
08/19/2014  |  23:44
(Repeats with story slug for media clients; no changes to text)* Abe's popularity declining and Abenomics floundering* Faces hurdles: Cabinet reshuffle, tax hike, polls* Aides try to temper his hawkish security agenda* They want him to re-focus on economic agendaBy Linda Sieg, Tetsushi Kajimoto and Yuko YoshikawaTOKYO, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Shinzo Abe is one of Japan's most polarizing prime ministers in decades. He may also have a good shot at becoming that rarity in Japanese politics - a long-serving leader....

U.S. SEC launches broad compliance review into "wrap fee" accounts
08/19/2014  |  18:44
By Sarah N. LynchWASHINGTON, Aug 19 (Reuters) - U.S. regulators have asked investment advisory firms to hand over records in connection with "wrap fee" accounts they offer clients, as part of a review to determine if they are complying with federal securities laws....

U.S. SEC launches municipal adviser exams
08/19/2014  |  16:13
By Sarah N. LynchWASHINGTON, Aug 19 (Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on Tuesday it is launching compliance exams for municipal advisers, a group of financial professionals that are new to the SEC's regulatory regime....

Israel Chems files confidential prospectus with SEC -report
08/19/2014  |  14:03
JERUSALEM, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Israel Chemicals (ICL) has filed a confidential prospectus with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ahead of a planned share offering next month, financial newspaper TheMarker said on Tuesday....

Exchange-traded fund accentuates merger arbitrage highs, and lows
08/19/2014  |  12:00
By Ashley LauNEW YORK, Aug 19 (Reuters) - For merger arbitrage funds playing this year's hot deal-making market, one exchange-traded fund has pulled ahead - on the upside and the downside.With a 3....

Europeans banks eye dollar bond market for capital boost
08/19/2014  |  08:51
(This story originally appeared in IFR, a Thomson Reuters publication)By Danielle Robinson and Helene DurandLONDON, Aug 19 (IFR) - European banks are expected to flock to the Yankee bond market with Additional Tier 1 and Tier 2 issuance in the autumn, lured by attractive funding costs.A sharp rally in dollar-denominated European Tier 2 securities last week made it possible for certain European banks to reap at least 50bp of savings if they go to the US market rather than euros, including the cost of swapping back to their home currency....

MOVES- BofA, Pimco, SAC Capital, Northern Trust, Everstone
08/19/2014  |  10:28
Aug 19 (Reuters) - The following financial services industry appointments were announced on Tuesday. To inform us of other job changes, email moves@thomsonreuters....

With eye on Scottish vote, speculators shore up sterling defences
08/18/2014  |  13:34
By Anirban NagLONDON, Aug 18 (Reuters) - The cost of hedging against sharp swings in the British pound rose on Monday as, exactly a month before an unprecedented independence vote, speculators sought to insure against the risk of Scotland leaving the United Kingdom.Polls suggest Scots will choose to remain part of the 307-year-old union with England on Sept....

REFILE-UBS says widens background checks for specialist employees
08/18/2014  |  16:55
(Refiled to correct typographical error in first paragraph)ZURICH, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Switzerland's biggest bank UBS said it had expanded the number of employees that are subject to internal background checks to around 15 percent of its workforce in a move that came in the wake of numerous scandals.Under the new policy, roughly 9,000 employees of the Zurich-based bank will be subject to internal vetting, a spokesman for UBS told Reuters, confirming a report on Monday by Swiss finance website, Inside Paradeplatz....

RPT-PROFILE-Oregon lawmaker will not let Fed forget to tackle commodities
08/18/2014  |  10:00
(Repeats story originally published Sunday with no changes)By Anna Louie SussmanNEW YORK, Aug 18 - Just over a year ago, Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley was looking for a place to make a bold statement about his latest crusade: taking Wall Street's traders to task for gaming commodity markets.His office telephoned Bruce Kehe, marketing director at Portland's Hopworks Urban Brewery, to see if the microbrewer would host an event at which Merkley would blast banks such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc for driving up the price of aluminum and other commodities....

Singapore's Olam sells 25 pct of packaged foods unit to Sanyo Foods for $187.5 mln
08/18/2014  |  09:50
SINGAPORE, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Singapore commodities firm Olam International Ltd has agreed to sell a 25 percent stake in its packaged foods operations to Japanese instant noodle maker Sanyo Foods for $187.5 million, the companies said in a joint statement....

UPDATE 1-Cliffs director resigns; miner must pay ex-CEO $11 million
08/15/2014  |  14:18
(Adds quote from letter, detail on payments)Aug 15 (Reuters) - One of Cliffs Natural Resources Inc's few incumbent directors has stepped down and delivered a stinging resignation letter, filings showed on Friday, as the miner separately said it was on the hook for millions of dollars in payments to its former chief executive officer and others in the wake of a proxy fight.Timothy Sullivan was one of a minority of Cliffs directors re-elected after hedge fund Casablanca Capital triumphed in a proxy battle last month....

FEATURE-Corporate founders battle boards to overturn forced exits
08/15/2014  |  11:00
By Nadia DamouniNEW YORK, Aug 15 (Reuters) - From American Apparel Inc to Lululemon Athletica Inc, Men's Wearhouse Inc and Best Buy Co Inc, a series of boardroom battles across North America underscore how difficult it can be for companies to part ways with their founders.In each of these cases, the boards decided it was time for the founders to step down from their roles either as chief executive or chairman, but faced stiff resistance from the founders, some of whom used their substantial equity stakes to fight back....

MOVES- Brevan Howard, London Stock Exchange, ABN AMRO Bank
08/15/2014  |  10:49
Aug 15 (Reuters) - The following financial services industry appointments were announced on Friday. To inform us of other job changes, email moves@thomsonreuters....

U.S. SEC widens probe of Cynk Technology to include auditor -WSJ
08/15/2014  |  01:35
Aug 15 (Reuters) - U.S. regulators are investigating the auditor of Cynk Technology Corp, the social media company that was briefly worth more than $6 billion in June before its shares plummeted, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people close to the probe....

Louis Dreyfus' sugar unit Biosev posts smaller quarterly loss
08/15/2014  |  01:38
SAO PAULO, Aug 14 (Reuters) - Biosev SA, the Brazilian sugar and ethanol unit of French commodities trader Louis Dreyfus Corp, posted a loss of 148.3 million reais ($65 million) in the April-June quarter, a 54 percent smaller loss than a year ago....

UPDATE 1-Atlanta accountant settles insider-trading charges with SEC
08/14/2014  |  19:43
(Adds a comment from attorney for Schlossberg, notes that lawyer for Nash declined to comment)By Sarah N. LynchWASHINGTON, Aug 14 (Reuters) - An Atlanta-based accountant agreed on Thursday to pay a fine to settle a civil insider-trading case in which U....

Lawsuit alleges JPMorgan mismanaged church trust, boosted fees
08/14/2014  |  18:04
By Suzanne BarlynAug 14 (Reuters) - An Indianapolis church has alleged that JPMorgan Chase & Co mismanaged trust accounts held for its benefit by investing in high cost, risky investments that advanced the firms' interests over its own, according to a lawsuit filed in Indianapolis federal court late on Wednesday.The Christ Church Cathedral of Indianapolis, which is endowed by heirs to the estate of drug company founder Eli Lilly, alleged that the trust accounts lost about $13 million in value between 2004 and 2013 after JPMorgan used church funds to buy 177 different investment products that generated the highest revenues to the firm, according to the complaint....

Bond insurer claims fraud in Detroit pension debt lawsuit
08/14/2014  |  18:01
Aug 14 (Reuters) - A bond insurance company fired back at Detroit's attempt to invalidate $1.45 billion of pension debt, claiming in a court filing late Wednesday that it was "fraudulently" led to guarantee payments on the debt....

U.S. municipal bond trading torpid in second quarter
08/14/2014  |  14:47
By Lisa LambertWASHINGTON, Aug 14 (Reuters) - Traders slammed on the brakes in the U.S. municipal bond market during the second quarter of 2014, with the amount of debt changing hands down more than 10 percent from a year earlier, Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board data released on Thursday showed....

US jury gives SEC quick win in fraud case against Boston adviser
08/14/2014  |  14:15
By Stuart Gittleman and Suzanne BarlynAug 14 (Reuters) - A Boston federal jury took two hours to decide that a local investment adviser had fraudulently lured his former brokerage customers to his new firm, the U.S....

RPT-COLUMN-LME's new COT report; a beginner's guide: Andy Home
08/14/2014  |  12:30
(Repeats Wednesday column without change)By Andy HomeLONDON, Aug 14 (Reuters) - When the London Metal Exchange (LME) consulted with its industrial users on what it should do about long load-out queues at some of its warehouses, the only point of general agreement in a polarised response was that it should improve transparency.Producers, consumers and industry groups were united in their call for the exchange to issue more information about who is doing what on the LME, something equivalent to the long-established Commitment of Traders Report (COTR) covering U....

SPECIAL REPORT-Web of lies: How a Spanish tech star fooled the world
08/14/2014  |  09:08
By Julien Toyer, Carlos Ruano and Andres GonzalezMADRID, Aug 14 (Reuters) - For nearly 10 years, Spanish internet company Let's Gowex SA said it was making money by providing public wi-fi in cities around the world. Most of the contracts, it now emerges, never existed....

Atlanta accountant settles insider-trading charges with U.S. SEC
08/14/2014  |  16:49
By Sarah N. LynchWASHINGTON, Aug 14 (Reuters) - An Atlanta-based accountant on Thursday agreed to pay a fine to settle a civil insider-trading case in which U....

Harvard Management Co invested in Covidien in Q2 - filing
08/13/2014  |  20:06
BOSTON, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Harvard Management Co, which oversees the Ivy League school's $32.7 billion endowment, took a new position in surgical device maker Covidien Plc during the second quarter before news of a planned takeover helped push the stock price higher, a regulatory filing shows....

Trafigura unit starts legal action against Mercuria, Citi
08/13/2014  |  16:00
LONDON, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Commodities trading house Trafigura's warehouse business Impala has become the latest company to initiate legal action in connection with suspected metals financing fraud at two of China's ports, according to a legal document.Trafigura has started legal proceedings in London against two units of U....

WRAPUP 1-Fed officials urge changes to still-risky U.S. funding markets
08/13/2014  |  14:46
* Rosengren, Dudley highlight post-crisis vulnerabilities* Broker-dealer profitability trade-off 'may be unavoidable'By Jonathan SpicerNEW YORK, Aug 13 (Reuters) - A serious re-evaluation of the still-risky short-term funding market is overdue, two top Federal Reserve officials said on Wednesday, with one urging a supervisory revamp and higher capital requirements for broker-dealers given the threat they still pose to the U.S....

COLUMN-Next energy revolution will be on roads and railroads: Kemp
08/12/2014  |  11:00
(John Kemp is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own)By John KempLONDON, Aug 12 (Reuters) - From modest beginnings in the Barnett shale beneath the city of Fort Worth, unnoticed by most energy analysts, horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing spread across North America and transformed all aspects of the energy landscape in under 10 years....

Doubts on rate rise timing begin to turn tide for sterling
08/12/2014  |  16:33
By Patrick Graham and Jemima KellyLONDON, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Over five tough summer weeks investors have slashed their bets on a stronger pound by 75 percent as still-miserly earnings growth calls into the question the timing of the first UK interest rate rises in over seven years.Sterling's retreat - around 2....

Investors boost cash in portfolios on Fed, war concerns
08/12/2014  |  13:33
By Andrew WinterbottomLONDON, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Concerns over conflict in Iraq, Ukraine and Gaza, future U.S. interest rate policy and pumped-up equity markets have prompted asset managers to scale back risk and raise the amount of cash held in portfolios, a survey showed on Tuesday....

DEALTALK-Safra takes banking prowess to the fruit stand with Chiquita bid
08/12/2014  |  20:31
(For more Reuters DEALTALKS, click on )By Guillermo Parra-BernalSAO PAULO, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Brazilian-Lebanese financier Joseph Safra's push to diversify his $16 billion fortune out of banking and real estate is taking the world's richest banker to the fruit stand.Safra, the youngest sibling in a family whose roots in banking go back five generations, is teaming up with orange juice baron Jose Luis Cutrale in a $611 million bid for Chiquita, a U....

UPDATE 2-US SEC charges Kansas for not telling investors of pension problem
08/11/2014  |  19:16
(Adds reaction from Kansas governor, background)By Lisa LambertWASHINGTON, Aug 11 (Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on Monday it has charged Kansas with fraud for not properly disclosing funding problems with its public pension when it held bond offerings in 2009 and 2010....

UPDATE 1-U.S. watchdog calls bitcoin 'Wild West' of finance
08/11/2014  |  18:08
(Adds background on virtual currencies, details from CFPB statement)By Douwe MiedemaWASHINGTON, Aug 11 (Reuters) - Virtual currencies such as bitcoin are the "Wild West" of financial products because of risks including huge swings in exchange rates, the U.S....

Oil billionaire Hamm sold Superior Energy stake citing weak returns
08/11/2014  |  15:26
By Joshua SchneyerAug 11 (Reuters) - Oil billionaire Harold Hamm recently sold his remaining stake in Superior Energy Services, a Houston-based oil services company, saying the stock wasn't providing the financial returns he'd hoped for, he told a court during his divorce trial last week.Hamm, who controls Oklahoma City-based driller Continental Resources and has an estimated fortune of more than $19 billion, said he recalled selling the Superior shares for between $23 and $25 per share -- suggesting he missed out on a rally that has boosted the stock to as much as $36 this year....

INSIGHT-For largest US companies, jobs growth has lagged profits, revenues
08/11/2014  |  05:00
By Howard SchneiderWASHINGTON, Aug 11 (Reuters) - Employment growth at the largest U.S. companies has lagged far behind increases in revenue and operating profit since the start of the century, as firms reaped the benefits of globalization, technology, and other ways to operate more productively, according to a Reuters analysis of corporate data....

RPT-Freddie Mac eyes Europe for risk-share RMBS buyers
08/11/2014  |  16:07
(Repeats to reach additional subscribers)By Joy WiltermuthNEW YORK, Aug 8 (IFR) - Freddie Mac is looking to European investors to help anchor its year-old risk-sharing RMBS bond program, which like a similar program from Fannie Mae, has recently been rattled by volatility.Margin calls in recent days on several hedge fund investors, the dominant buyers of longer, non-rated tranches of these bonds, have highlighted areas of fragility in the new asset class....

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